Clarence was born in Orleans in 1890. His father was a fisherman and farmer. He followed the mackerel from the Carolinas to Maine. Clarence recalls the story of how Barley Neck road got its name. A fellow mowing barley fell down and broke his neck. His mother was Mary Elizabeth Sparrow. He remembers the ice houses in Orleans and working at cutting, storing and delivering ice by horse and wagon. He did not go to high school. He remembers seeing his first car when he was in second grade. His first jobs included fishing and constructing cranberry bogs. He describes the creation of a cranberry bog. From 1911 to 1954 he worked on the Mayo Duck Farm. The farm would produce 80,000 ducks a year. It would slaughter 2,000 ducks a week and ship them to Boston. They would also collect and sell the down and feathers. They also shipped chicks to Delaware. He remembers three shipwrecks and their cargoes. He also remembers as a teenager riding a refloated schooner to Boston and taking the train home. He describes pictures and events from a scrapbook including Orleans landmarks; Orleans Inn, Orleans Center, blacksmith shop, windmills near the Ellis store and the pants factory. He also remembers being 7 years old and seeing a storm blow down the large 1897 Centennial celebration tent full of tables and dishes.
The Tales of Cape Cod Oral History Collection is housed at the William Brewster Nickerson Archives in the Wilkens Library at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable, Massachusetts. For more information about the collection, please contact the Nickerson Archives, http://www.nickersonarchives.org/.